Grace and peace be with you:
About three months ago we chalked our houses with an Epiphany blessing. Before that they were decorated for Christmas, and before that for Thanksgiving, and before that for Halloween, and before that…. Well, you get the idea. We decorate, we remember, we celebrate with tangible things. They remind us, invite us, and help us to be present to and participate in what is happening. And Holy Week is no different – palms, feet, a cross, bread and wine – and yet it is different this year.
We may not be gathering in person but it will still be Holy Week. So let’s still decorate, remember, and celebrate. Let’s be present and participate. Let’s make each of our houses a house of worship, a little church, a reminder to ourselves and the world that it’s Holy Week.
Here are some ways we could do that:
- For Palm Sunday hang some palms or “leafy branches” (St. Mark’s description) on your front door or put them in a front window for others to see. Set up a table in your house or on the front porch (or even in both places). Cover it with a red cloth and set your palms or leafy branches on it. Don’t have palms? Use your imagination, use any “leafy branches” you can find.
- On Maundy Thursday keep the table covered in red and set out a bowl or basin, a pitcher of water, and a towel. Or you could put them in a front window as a symbol of love for the world.
- On Good Friday remove the table covering and let the table remain bare. Set a plain and simple cross and some nails on it, or put them in the front window. Remember, Jesus doesn’t take us off our cross. He gets up there with us.
- On Easter Sunday hang some flowers and a white cloth on your front door. Cover the table with a white cloth and set out a bouquet of flowers and a lit candle. Proclaim beauty, light, life, and hope. Alleluia!
Here’s the thing. Holy Week and Easter never really were about what happened in the church. They’re about what’s happening in our lives. Whereas we may be physically isolated, we are not separated in spirit. We are united as the body of Christ; We are the Church.
I hope you will join St. Philip’s online celebrations of Holy Week and Easter from your own house of prayer, your little church. We would love to see your Holy Week celebrations. Enjoy, take photos, post your photos on social media, and remember to tag St. Philip’s Episcopal Church.
God’s peace be with you.
P.S. Thank you to Shanna and Kelley for giving me this idea.